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9/11/01 The Today Show News/Business. (2010) Highlights of the week's 9/11.

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Washington 19, Us 17, Pittsburgh 15, Manhattan 15, United States 12, Boston 11, Pentagon 11, Los Angeles 9, New York 9, U.s. 9, Bob 8, Faa 7, Katie 7, America 6, Porter Goss 6, Pat Dawson 5, Boeing 5, Tom 5, Tim 5, Afghanistan 5,
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  MSNBC    MSNBC News Live    9/11/01 The Today Show  News/Business.  
    (2010) Highlights of the week's 9/11.  

    September 11, 2010
    11:00 - 12:00pm EDT  

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and, obviously, they have all beenm mobilized, and emergency crews are working feverishly outside the world trade center. >> you are looking at lower manhattan on a drray of tragedy and terror in the united states. you're looking at what remains of the world trade center in lower manhattan. earlier just before and after 9:00, two planes and individual attacks struck each tower of the world trade center. causing gaping holes in both towers. you're looking at a tape after the first impact. and there is the second impact of a large jet flown, we now believe, deliberately into the second tower. it was a short time after that that the towers collapsed.
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and then there was an attack in washington, d.c. we now have reports of a plane meashed into the pentagon. we have no reports of confirmed injuries or death opinion however, it's clear officials all across the country saying this is a deliberate terrorist attack on the united states, as tom has put it so far this morning, this is a declaration of war by terrorists ens s agae united states. >> before we talk about terrorism, another large plane crashed as well just north of somerset county airport 80 mile southeast of pittsburgh, pennsylvania. it was a boeing 767 that crashed around 10:00 this morning. and it is unclear whether the crash was related to the other crashes that took place this morning. >> president bush is en route back to washington. the state department has been evacuated. there's been an attack on the pentagon. it has been evacuated.
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the white house evacuated. there will be a meeting of the national security council. this is the most serious attack on the united states since pearl harbor. there has never been a terrorist attack of this magnitude, in fact, on any country in the world so far as we can tell. the untold loss of life in ne york alone. we only know that there have been hundreds of bu rn victims brought to various hospitals. both twin trade tower centers have collapsed to the ground. that's a densely populed area, obviously. we don't know the number of casualties yet at the pentagon. and we don't know the number of deaths in that plane that went down, as katie pointed, north of pittsburgh. >> we've left out a piece of information, we know for a fact that one of these planes that was crashed into the world trade center was hijacked from boston this morning. it was american airlines flight 11 en route from boston to los angeles. we had reports it had been diverted to jfk, and a short time later, perhaps while landing at jfk, it veered dramatically into the world
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trade center. >> all air travel has been stopped. airports have been closed across the country. to planes departing and en route, it is unclear if they've made emergency landings or if they're reaching their final destinations. the white house, the state department, the cia have been evacuated. of course, many, many buildings in manhattan, in lower manhattan have been evacuated as well. >> and transatlantic flights to this country are being diverted to canada. still no clailim of responsibity that ihis veriable or credible at this time. yasser arafat has condemned this attack saying it's shocking and appalling. >> of course, we should mention back in february of 1993 was when that bomb went off in the garage of the world trade center, killing six people, injuring 1,000 people. and that, of course, was an unbelievable scene. but compared to this, it seems actually-- >> this is what they intended to do back then.
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>> -- minor. let's go to bob haeger who has information for us. bob? >> reporter: katie, i was just thinking as you commented there about the various planes involved. the one that we know of so far, because it's confirmed by american airlines, is that that flight 11 which had been scheduled from boston's logan airport to los angeles,that flight 11 was hijacked this morning. and it is presumed that that may thatbeen one of the planes went into one of the towers of the world trade center. there were at least two more planes involved in this because the other tower was hit. and then the pentagon was also there were eyewitness accounts th it was a plane that went into the pentagon. but so far we don't know the sources of those planes, whether they were commercial planes that had been hijacked, whether they were private planes, whether they had been hijacked at all. and i would point out the report from somerset county, pennsylvania, is so far just local authorities commenting. the faa has not confirmed that crash. so we're waiting to hear more, and i'm hearing just now --
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>> bob -- confirming, so this adds to those earlier rumors, that there are several airplanes that are unaccounted for. so there were some rumors that there might have been other planes hijacked that we didn't yet know the outcome of it. and now the faa is confirming that there are several is the word i heard, several planes that are unaccounted for that are evidently hijacked and has not come to a conclusion yet. >> bob, we'd like you to get a list of as many of those as you can as specifically as possible. we're going to show you now -- we're going to replay a tape of thsecond attack on the world trade center in slow mo. there's the plane, as you can see, a large airline-type plane. and now the collision. flown deliberately into the second one. >> and they say several, bob,ino they give you any indication of what they're talking about?
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>> reporter: several is the description i had, and that was just passed on to me mo a momen a ago. so i wasn't talking permanently to the faa person, but several is the report i have. >> and the flight out of boston, do we know what kind of plane that was and perhaps how many were on board? >> reporter: we do not yet, but i think they're going to get additional information from american. they were supposed to be adding comment to this from dulles airport here in a few moments. so we might learn a little more about that. right now it's very important to worry about rumors and so forth. i'd like to hear some more confirmation that a plane really has crashed in pennsylvania, for instance, since the faa hasn't confird that. i think one needs to be very careful here in this chaotic situation. >> we have a report here that osama bin laden, who is often identified as the world's leading terrorist, warned three weeks ago that he and his followers would carry out an unprecedented attack on u.s. interests for its support of
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arab journalists said tuesday in london. >> the editor of the london-based newspaper said islamic fundamentalists led by bin laden was almost certainly behind the attack of the world trade center in new york. quote, it's most likely the work of islamic fundamentalists. osama bin laden warned three weeks ago that he would attack american interests in an unprecedented attack, a very big one, he told reuters. >> he has interviewed bin laden, and he maintains close contact with his followers, according to reuters. so that's the first report that we have that osama bin laden may have been responsible. obviously, it was a very sophisticated organization, carefully coordinated. it had to have its origins in this country. the fbi director, as he left office, said that his continuing great concern were a number of terrorist cells that exist in america, not just in some shadowy enclave in afghanistan
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or some in that continent, but they've taken root in this country because it's so easy to get here. >> let's talk more about osama bin laden. as you seay, he was associated with the 1993 world trade center bombing. why don't we talk about him and what he has done here in the united states, tom, to give people a little bit of background. >> well, he is from saudi arabia originally. he's wealthy. he is very sophisticated in terms of using the new technology. we believe that he is being harbored in afghanistan. no one knows for sure. a number of people have attempted to get to him and have been unsuccessful in that. they also believe that he was behind the bombings in kenya as well. he is obviously a zealot of great, dark passion and most of it directed at the united states. >> brian jenkins, our terrorism expert, remains on the phone. brian, tell us a little more about osama bin laden and if you think that he might, in fact, have carried out this kind of
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well-orchestrated, horrific attack on the united states. >> certainly he would have to be included in any very, very short list of suspects. but it is premature to be able to say with any confidence who might be responsible. and something like this, we know what has happened. we know when it has happened. we know where it has happened. who and why, it takes a little bit nger to figure out. i have no doubt that we will ultimately be able to identify who responsible. but until that time, we can only speculate. >> but brian, in an attack of th magnitude that is so carefully coordinated and executed with such cold-blooded efficiency, it obviously had to be a very sophisticated organization. >> clearly this took organization. and while organization has in terrorism in recent years become more fluid, that is we are not dealing with the identifiable teorist organization that we
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dealt with in the 1970s and 1980s, terrorism in the last decade has been a lot more fluid. and from these universes of like-minded fanatics, people have been able to put together thad hoc conspiracies. nonetheless, the magnitude of this attack, the coordination involved in this attack does indicate a considerable amount of planning and organization. >> mr. jenkins, if you'll hold for a second. i want to go back to bob haeger of nbc. bob, we were talking a second -- apparently we don't have bob at the mont. all right. let's go totr jim callstrom, former director of the fbi's new york office. jim, we just talked about the fact that sooner or later we'll know who did this. but where does law enforcement start? obviously, we know that in several cases we're talking about the plane as the weapon, so to speak. but where do we start to track who's responsible? >> well, matt, i think someone said it there, this is unprecedented.
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and law enforcement will start from the base of intelligence that they already have. hopefully always have. i mean, that's the argument in the country. i mean, we have very short memory in the united states. and maybe that's good. maybe it's bad. that's why we need effective law enforcement. although in a free society, as brian jenkins points out, and i agree with him totally, it's very, very difficult to stop things like this. i mean, the first goal would have been to stop this horrific, horrific event. and, of course, the second goal now is to save as many people as we can and to find out who did it. and thirdly, and most importantly, not let something like this happen again. >> jim, if you were starting the investigation tomorrow mor where would you begin with the man that hijacked the american airlines flight? >> i'd probably have 100 courses of action taken simultaneously. i'm sure that's what's going on as we speak. it's a bit chaos.
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i mean, i just looked at the twa tragedy and why we responded the way we did. it was a heightened threat of terrorism, and this is so much bigger than that. it's chaotic. but law enforcement's trying to make sense out of it. they're trying to, obviously, not let something happen again in the next ten minutes, the next hour, the next two hours. so that's on the mind of public safety officials in washington and locally. and, of course, a long-range plan to see what we can do about stopping this. we live in a free society. people come and go. our borders are open. we see that talked about on the news every night. not so much from a terrorism standpoint, from, you know, a work standpoint. but people landed on major airports every day undocumented. so it's extremely difficult, as brian pointed out earlier. these terrorist cells are very insulated from each other. there's no particular hierarchy like there was in the mafia where you put a particular wiretap in at the top and you
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know everything that's going on. that's not the case here. we know there's tremendous hatred. we've talked about this in law enforcement for over a decade.he they blew up the world trade center. they tried to bring the world trade center down. they've blown up many, many other government symbols. ramzi also tried to blow up several jets. >> i'm sorry to interrupt. it's katie couric. we want to go to pat dawson who's down at the world trade center with an official talking to that official. pat? >> reporter: yes, katie. forgive me, we're just trying to get -- obviously, as you can imagine, joe, you can put the microphone on there. as you can imagine, this is a very difficult situation. we are here with aho couple of guests who can give us at least some insight into what's going on there. thhais is chief william hall, t port authority police of new york. as we told you earlier, the port authority police have jurisdiction over the trade center. and also allen rice who's the director of the world trade center. gentlemen, if i'd get you just to stand like that.
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first of all, chief, do we have any idea of how many people are in there? >> we have no idea. as you know, it's pretty much rush hour time that this took place this morning. the numbers we don't know yet. we tried to get almost everybody out that we could early on. >> reporter: after the first two crashes when the planes hit the building, there was roughly about, what, i would say an hour, an hour and 15 minutes between that and the point when the south tower ycollapsed. how many people were you able to get out? do you have any idea? >> we don't know. we tried to do a floor-by-floor search, the fire department, the police, best they could to try to get everybody out. but as you know, there were people still coming out after that building came down. >> do you have any idea how many people would normally be in the building at 8:30? >> possibly 10,000 people in each tower. would typically be in there on a normal business day. we get about another 5,000 visitors during the course of a day.
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so b8:30, 9:00, the building should have been full. >> in other words, by 8:30 to 9:00, you figure the building would have been approaching full capacity with the workers. so we are talking about roughly 10,000 people. >> per tower. >> reporter: per tower. now, at this point, obviously, you've got a situation of these towers having collapsed that is bordering on chaotic, what's the first challenge? what are you doing at this moment? i've seen emergency workers try to go in there after the first couple crashes and come running back out. what are you trying to do now? i guess the next step is between the chief and myself and my staff. we're going to go assess the condition and determine whether it's safe or not to send personnel into the building to continue looking and evacuating people. >> reporter: are there any emergency workers in there now? >> we don't know that. we don't know. >> reporter: if they were in there now, presumably they would have been trapped in there from the earlier -- >> it's possible. it's possible from what we saw happen, very much so. we were trapped ourselves in the
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basement, the building collaatpd and we came out of , but yes. >> reporter: you were in the basement of the south tower? >> no, we were in the basement of building 5 -- >> 6. >> and i was in building 5. we had to dig our way out. >> reporter: you dug your way out. what was that like? >> scary. >> scary, but i was a volunteer fireman for years, so you learn not to panic. >> reporter: one last thing, what do you right now to try to get to those people? how long before you get to those people? >> we're going to have wait and make the building safe. we have our engineers here, we're going to make the building safe, then we're going to send in rescue teams. we're already breaking the men and women up into rescue teams, and they're ready to go once the building is declared safe of what's left. >> reporter: and how soon? >> we're going to do this right now and i hope soon. i hope so. >> reporter: is any of the builng still standing? we can't really see. >> i can't see either. i see what you see. i don't know. >> reporter: you don't know how much of the building is left. >> that's where we're going now to assess the condition. >> reporter: we understand you have emergency work to do. we appreciate you very much taking the time out. but the latest report that we
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have, at this point from those who are in charge of that building, speaking to the direct either of the world trade center and the port authority police, they are at this point, as they said, just trying to put together a plan to go in there and just assess the damage. this sequence of extraordinary tragedies, this catastrophes really. first the two crashes and then in sequence one tower of the building coming down, another tower of the building coming down. obviously, the first order of business is to try to organize themselves and to go back in there in a way that may endanger more emergency workers. because based on what i've seen, there have been a number of emergency workers put in harm's way this morning. they had to be, but the toll has to be extraordinary. tom, i'll throw it back to you. >> thank you very much, pat dawson. those are the first numbers we've had this morning. they think there were about 20,000 people in the two buildings at the time of the attack. to say nothing of t untold number of people on the streets or in nearby buildings who could
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also have suffered injuries or worse fr worse when the buildings did come down. this is tan ta mount to war. you're looking at the lower end of manhattan. a thpentagon was attacked as well. there is a report of a hijacked plane that went down near pittsburgh nbc's robert haeger isracking all this through the faa for us. robe? >> reporter: there's more information now on the one confirmed hijacking that we know of. and that was that american airlines flight number 11. it was a 767, took off from boston logan this morning. it was to go to los angeles. american airlines confirmed it was hijacked. and we have some first numbers on how many were on board. 58 passengers. and a crew of 11. so 69 people on that flight. that's presumed to be one of the planes that went into one of the towers of the world trade center. the other planes that we know of, the other tower of the world trade center, and the plane that went to the -- that crashed into the pentagon area, those are unknown flights.
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the pennsylvania crash which is still not the faa, but it's local authorities saying it. our affiliate in pittsburgh has heard traffic on the radio scanners saying that it was a flight that originated in chicago and was headed to cleveland. but i'd caution that that sort of information coming off radio scanners is very, very sketchy and so very unreliable. but it's the firsat report off the scanners. >> bob, an fbi spokesman is quoted as saying that there were four flights that werege hijack all together. we know about american 11. i'm not going to mention the names of the caiers or the numbers on the others. are you getting any kind of detail like that at t faa? >> reporter: no, the faa t is n getting into that kind of detail. and a moment ago i said that they said there were several planes still in the air. and that was a report coming to me while i was on the air. so i'm geing is secondhand. now i understand what they were sayings that they had unaccounted flights, flights that unaccoued for.
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that could be in addition to flight 11, the other planes that went into those other buildings. it does not necessarily imply there are still planes in the air. a little more information, canada h nowf shut down all of its airports. but it will leave the airports open to allow incoming planes that were bound for the u.s. and are now prohibited from landing at u.s. airports to divert into canada. but otherwise an da is allowing no takeoffs, and it's not taking inbound flights from any other place other than planes that were bound for the u.s. >> now we get word from american airlines, bob, do stay with us here for a moment, that it had two aircraft in this tragedy, flight 11, a boeing 676 with 81 passengers, 9 flight attendants and 2 pilots. flight 77, they're saying, a boeing 757, operateding from washington-dulles to l.a. with 58 passengers, 4 flight attendants and 2 pilots. that's from al, one of our guys in teshe dallas area from amerin airlines. >> reporter: yeah, so now we know the identity of two of the
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flights involved in today's incidents. and that leaves at least one more, and if the report of the crash in pittsburgh is accurate, that leaves two more that we don't have identified yet. but it gives us those two that you mentioned. >> well, it could have been both these planes could have been into the twin trade towers because plainly they were two airliners that went into the twin trade towers as we saw on the videotape. >> reporter: are you listening to me? okay. they say there's a bomb in the school here. i was told by firefighters. >> reporte >> pat dawson, let's go to you to lower manhattan. you have a report of another bomb? >> reporter: tom, we're being evacuated. you see all the emergency workers walking north. we've been told by firefighters here that there is a report of a bomb in this building. this is a school, a high school, right here. and as you can see,ve they're moving everybody awayfrom this building. they've said that there's a bomb in the building. they are evacuating us north now. that is according to firefighters on the scene. and 're ing to move out of
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here right now just to keep ourselves safe. so we're going to start walking north ourselves. but that's what we're being told by new york city firefighters here, that there were reports of a bomb in that high school right there. it's called stuyvesant high school. everybody is being moved north.e we're being asked by the police to move north and get out of the way. officer, do you have an idea? >> there's a record of a secondary device possibly in the area of this school, so they're going to move everybody back as a precaution. >> reporter: secondary device being a bomb. >> possibly. >> reporter: where did that report come from? >> it came in over our radios. so we're calling everybody back. >> reporter: and that's in the high school right there? >> yes. >> reporter: thank you very much, officer. that's the officer of the new york emergency service. >> pat, that school has been evacuated? >> reporter: yeah. well, i don't think there was anyone in the katie, this morning.
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i think everyone had probably v events took place early th morning just because of the fact that it's so close to the world trade center. most of these buildings around here have been evacuated. so i would imagine -- i never saw any kids going into that school this morning. so i'm going to presume that they never even allowed them to get to sool this morning and that anyone that was here at 8:45 were probablyst moved out almost within moments after this -- the crash took place because it literally is only about ten blocks north of here. and i haven't seen any students coming in or out. >> pat dawson, thanks very much. the big story, obviously, still to be resolved is how many planes were hijacked. we now have a report there could have been as many as four of them. we know two planes were involved here at the tw trade towers. there's a report near pittsburgh, another kind of plane went into the pentagon, but there could still be planes in the air that could be under the control of hijackers. we don't know for sure what flights they are or where they're headed. there are some unconfirmed reports of them.
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we can only tell you that american 11 and american 77 have been identified by american airlines as 2 of the planes involved in the incidents today. >> and the hijackings are scattered somewhere around a fairly wide area. we have to remember two of these planes arrived at the world trade center within 18 to 20 minutes ofh other. we're going to go down to nbc's y with sert standing b more information. tim? tim? apparent tim can't hear us. >> all right, obviously people are scrambl ing to get as much information. i think we do now. >> tim, do you hear us? >> i can hear you now. can you hear me? >> please give us your information. >> reporter: i've been speaking to the chairman of the house intelligence committee, porter goss. we're trying to get him on the telephone here a continue our conversation on the air. he told me that he was on the phone with house speaker hastert about the situation when a code red was declared on the hill that the speaker has moved to a secure place becse he is the
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line of command of our national leadership. congressman porter goss, chairman of the intelligence committee, also said that this extremely well-coordinated attack could only be done by a very few people, very few organizations, and that because of the magnitude of it, it will be relatively easy to, quote, see their fingerprints. then we as a nation are going to have to make a very decisive retaliation as soon as we are able to identify exactly who this was. mr. goss said he's obviously never seen anything quite like this. as it plays out, perhaps more to come. and he will be joining us shortly on the telephone here. so we all can hear his words directly. he will be briefed throughout the day because ofio his positi. he has access to the nation's utmost secrets. >> all right. tim, obviousl president bush is on his way back to the nation's capital. is it your understanding that he has arrived yet, or do you know his whereabouts at this point? >> reporter: katie, i do not know that, but i do know that
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while the white house has been evacuated, the situation room continues. there are people in the white house doing their jobs. and so at the pentagon, in the nerve centers of both facilities, our highest ranking officis are motoring the situation, making a determination as to how widespread this attack may be. and trying very, very hard to get a handle on exactly who did it and just how we respond. >> tim, we have secure areas, obviously, for the president in case of a nuclear attack in the past in the mountains of virginia not t far from washington by helicopter ride. any indication that the president may have to go to one of those facilities? >> reporter: we have not yet heard that, tom. i asked that question and the response was we're not going there, meaning responding to my question, not necessarily traveling there. but they obviously are on the highest state of alert. they understand the magnitude of this. they understand that the american people now are going to be waiting and watching for a response from washington, other than what the president gave in
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florida. as you might expect, even our most sophisticated communications 2001 era, it is stl extremely difficult trying to get any nds of information. the cell phones are down. many of the hard lines are down. but i've been assured by peoplo at the white house and at the pentagon that, in fact, they are in touch with each other and have the situation as under control best they can. but like all of us, they simply don't know yet who did this. >> tim, you talked about porter goss. obviously, the capitol was evacuated along with other major monuments and major government buildings. in washington, d.c. where are people, members of congress, ght now? have they assembled anywhere, and what are they doing, and where are they? >> reporter: katie, after the explosion at the world trade center, congress convene econve a prayer and then recessed. many of the members headed home. they were, obviously, going to look forward to a difficult week
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in washington dealing with the economy. i am told porter goss is on the telephone now with me. congressman, can you hear me? congressman goss, can you hear me? we'll continue to effort that, katie. but most of the congressmen have now -- and congresswomen -- have returned to their homes here in washington because the building itself has been evacuated.sh the leadership of the congress, as i mentioned, speaker hastert particularly is in a secure place. and he will be in constant communication with the president and vice president, being the third person in the hierarchy. >> all right, tim russert in washington, tim, thanks very much. and when you get porter goss on the phone, maybe you can give us more infortion. thanks, tim. >> we'll be right back to you. >> let's go to msnbc's ashleigh banfield in lower manhattan standing by with people who were in the buildings or near the buildings when those planes hit. a ashleigh? >> reporter: hi, i'm between 5 and 10 blocks north of the site where those two towers have come down. we're obviously having a bit of trouble right now maintaining
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our cation because we just heard one more explosion. that's about td.he fourth one we've heard. the police are telling us they're either cars bombs or thy are simply cars that have overheated so much that they're exploding. but every time one of those happens, there's a flurry of th activity. and there are more emergency n. vehicles that come down. i don't know if you can shoot past me. that is the cloud that we were in about 45 minutes ago or so. at the time we were there when the first trade tower came down, my producer and i were overcome by the cloud of debris and smoke that came at us so rapidly. we had to break down a window to an apartment building. we had to break the window and go into the second door inside just to breathe. we were followed by a police officer and a security guard from the world trade center area. i want to show you something if i can. i'm just using a cell phone so i can hear you because there are no cell lines coming out of manhattan at the time. see if you can zero in on this right here. this is the kind of debris we're seeing all over the ground. if you can see the address, one
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world trade center. >> obviously, we're having some technical problems with ashleigh banfield who is on the ground near the world trade center about five blocks away. >> here's the first confirmion from united airlines. it's confirmed one of its flights crashed in the pittsburgh area, flight 93, a boeing 757. the flight originating in newark. it was bound for san no information on how many people were on bard the 757 carries a lot of folks. anyone who's flown from newark to san francisco knows that most of those flights carry a full load. >> so this now brings to three the number of confirmed flights that have been iolved in this tragic day. american airlines flight 11 from boston to los angeles. flight 77 from washington-dulles airport to los angeles with 58 passengers on board. and now the united flight, tom, that you just mentioned. and you can say that -- we have to say that the number of passengers was relatively low on those first flights. and we can only hope this was not a full flight, this united
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flight. >> you know, there was a collapse, obviously, not just of intelligence but of airport security as well that that many planes were hijacked almost simultaneously. >> although these days, as we know, tom, and learned from the twa tragedy, flight 800, that oftentimes some of these deces are absolutely -- it's impossible to see them in our kind of security x-ray machines that you have at typical airports. some are made of plastic. v ey can be very small and virtually undetectible, which is, of course, another major problem for airport security. we're going to go to bob bazell at st. vincent's hospital. obviously, we're veryer concern about the people who were in the world trade rcenter when these two planes crashed into them. bob, tell me about the scene at st. vincent's hospital.>> >> reporter: katie, the wounded are starting to come in in great regularity now, almost every 30 seconds an ambulance pulls up. some of them very badly burned.
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many are dead. i've seen many dead. cardinal egan is standing out on the street giving last rites, may god help us many times over. there's been a call out for blood from all the new york hospitals. people are lined around, people have responded in enormous numbers to that. everybody seems to want to help in some way. new york has become kind of surrealistic on the streets above lower manhattan because all the subways and commuter lines and bridges andee tunnels have been shut down. so many people who are not injured are wandering around aimlessly. but in the hospitals, there's so many injured coming in now that they've run out of gurneys. and they've brought every office chair that they have down and put sheets over that to carry people in. it's an enormous amthoue nt of for all the staff. people have come in, everybody who is off has been come in, calls have been gone out for specialists, plastic surgeons, burn specialists. it's going to be a very grueling several days ahead. >> bob, the other thing is, i don't know whether you can tell about traffic in the rest of
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manhattan because a lot of our major hospitals are well north of there, atlantics hill, columbia presbyterian, new york cornell, are the ambulances able to get through? have they cleared the traffic? we're in kind after a tomb her in the studios in midtown. >> reporter: tom, i had trouble hearing you just that time. there's a system in place here where they're triaging people in lower manhattan. they're putting sometimes tags around their neck, you see people wandering upwho have only slight injuries. others are very seriously injured. every hospital in the area is involved in a plan to take in some kind of patients. this one where i'm at, stnc. vincent's, is one of the closest to the major trauma center, but every hospital is on alt. every hospital is taking in what is becoming now a sea of patients. >> nbc's robert bazell, thanks very much. let's go back to washington and nbc's tim russert who has a guest on the phone, porter goss, the head of the house intelligence committee. tim? >> reporter: exactly right. congressman, are you there? >> i'm here.
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>> reporter: as chairman of the house intelligence committee, what is your official reaction to what we've witnessed this mornin >> obviously, i'm horrified. we do our best to make sure there are no surprises like this happening to americans at home or abroad. it's never 100% sure. we got the wake-up call again today. it is unbelievable that anybody would do an act like this. basically using innocent victims aboard our commercial airliners as weapons against other innocent b victims in our big buildings, our symbols of economy and commerce in new york and our defense and legislative and executive buildings here in washington. >> reporter: when people are watching this at home, congressman, they're saying to themselves, how could this happen in the united states of america. a complete breakdown in our airport security, a complete breakdown in our airspace security. over the pentagon, the center of our military command, how could something be this vulnerable? >> well, we are a free, open, democratic society. and we take great pride in that. we pay a price for it. we, as you know, if you've ever
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flown into washington national, washington reagan airport, you fly right over the pentagon. and many times we've commented on how vulnerable the building is for just that reason. that vulnerability was taken advantage of today. as for commercial airliners flying around new york in airspace there, obviously, they fly near the trade towers. to be able to say that our airport security works 100%, anybody who flies in america knows that's not true. you answer a few questions before you get on the plane and show a photo i.d. that doesn't necessarily mean you can't do mayhem on the plane as we see from time to time. and tragically, some kind of an organization somewhere has orchestrated all this in an effective fashion. we have great intelligence capabilities out there who keep us constantly on alert about these types of reports. i can tell you i know of no specific reporting, anything of this particular specificity on this day with these targets, but i can tell you that we are scrambling all the time to
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assess information that would do harm to the united states and its people. and as we know, we've seen our military installatns subject to attack, our embassy subject to attack before. we stop a lot, but obviously, we don't get it all. and we are just going to have to rethink how we do business in today's world and deal with these kinds of threats. >> reporter: based on your experience as an honored cia agent and now as a very highly respected chairman of the house intelligence committee, how many organizations -- terrorists organizations -- in the world are capable of pulling off such a coordinated, massive attack? >> i would say there's only a handful, if we're not talking about state-sponsored terrorism. if you're talking state sponsored, it could be more, but i don't think we're dealing with state sponsored. i think we'r dealing here with a loose network, a loose association of people who have the same goal, which is of anti-united states goal. who found a way to get together and network and pull this thing off.
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part of the problem with terrorism is that one of the weapons of terrorism is confusion. and one of the hopes now, of course, of the terrorists who perpetrated this is that we will have lots confusion in the united states, and there will be rumors of other things happening, and that will upset how we go about our business and our behavior and how our law enforcement people react and so forth. that's one thing to deal with. and other thing to deal with as the president alluded to this morning in his very strong statement was that we will respond. the question is against whom. and we want to make sure we're dealing with aswaymmetrical warfare such as this where we're dealing with innocent people by and large who are victims of this, that we respond appropriately and not provoke any other incidents that are in the world but get the people who actually caused this to happen. and that requires good information, and obviously we're in the process of trying to get that information. >> reporter: but it may take some time through all this to find the fingerprints
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and, in fact, launch any kind of retaliation. >> that is certainly true. and one of the hallmarks we may need is patience. >> reporter: porter goss, thank you very much. we'll be contacting you throughout the day. we very much appreciate you joining us this morning. >> thank you. add my prayers to the others. >> reporter: back to you, matt. >> thank you very much. we're going to talk to someone here in the studio. tom, you have phone number for people concerned about passengers on board those flights. >> amerin airlines has confirmed that two of its flights were hijacked. and for people who want to know the number is 1-800-245-0999. united headquarters, you may not be able to get through, obviously, is 847-700-5538. united has confirmed that one of its planes went down near pittsburgh. american has said that two of itse planes were involved in t hijackings today, one from dulles and one from boston. >> apparently united airlines was involved, right? >> i said that in pittsburgh. >> right, from newark en route to san francisco.
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>> we want to go downtown again. there we go. ashleigh banfield -- >> reporter: we're giving out emergency numbers over the airwaves. we're doing that now. >> that's the only thing. >> reporter: i just wanted to ask you -- >> for emergency personnel. either law enforcement or medical. >> reporter: do you know anything about those extra explosions we heard? ar>> no, i don't. >> reporte were they car bombs? >> i have no idea, ma'am. >> reporter: do we have to move out of this area as well? what about the sewers? are they looking forbombs in sewers? >> nonessential personnel. >> okay, obviously, emergency workers are moving people out of that areina. ron is here with us in the udio. ron, obviously, you were downtown asome point because we see you havesoot and debris in your hair and on your jacket. what happened? >> well, one of the msnbc cameramen and i were trying to get across the street, having driven down to try to cover the event, obviously, for nbc. and as we were going across the
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street, we were not teibly far from the world tradeenter south tower. as we were cutting across in a quarantined zone, actually, the building began to disintegrate. we heard it and looked up and wearted to see elements of the building come down.d we ran. and honestly, it was like a scene out of "independence day." everything began to rain down. it was pitch black around us as the winds were whipping through the corridors in lower manhattan. i ducked around a corner, gotin. it was nighttime for several minutes before things cleared up. >> was this theirst tower? >> i believe this was the first tower, the south tower. as it was coming down, what that looks like there is mild compared to what it was likeo be at the center. it was pitch black. for blocks. and was this smoke as well as dust? >> it was smoke. it was dust. i assume it was part of the building coming down. just pieces of a dintegrating building coming down as well. >> obviously, we're very concerned about the triage unit that was set up to help people who were trying to get out of the building, ron, to help people who had already been carried out of the building and who were being treated medically.
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were you close enough to survey the scene? >> i was within about a half a block of the building as it started to come down. >> can you tell us what you saw there? >> it was fairly clear. there were some areas along the reet that did have bloodde and debris. there were no longer people in the area except for a couple of journalists andff police office who were quarantining -- containing the area so people wouldn't cut through. >> once it di begin to clear after that several minutes of pitch darkness, what did you see in the streets then? >> it was a very deep gray smoke. in honesty, it looked like a nuclear winter, the type of thing you see the movies with ash all over the ground on top of cars, on police cars, on windows. i made my way into a building because it was the one light i could see and stayed there until a coup of police officers and a few other people inside the building were able to get into a vehicle. we picked up a few injured people and dropped them off at the hospal. >> what were they injuries? >> one policeman had a deep gash in his forehead. he was all right, a bit shocked. and a young lady had shrapnel in her arm.
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i don't know whether it was part of the building or glass from another building. >> was there a lot of peripheral dama to other buildings and stores in the area? >> not really. >> because when that building came down, one would only imagine all ofhe pieces of steel and concrete that came cascading down as well and hit other places. >> i imagine the collateral damage was enormous. but we were probably, i'd say, two or three blocks away in a building where we holed up for a time until we were fairly comfortable it was safe to come out. it was truly the most intense and frightening experience i've ever had in my life. it was literally pitch black. on the streets. and people were, you know, obviously inhaling a great deal of this material as well. so there are many folks having difficulty breathing and wearing facial masks as well. >> we're glad you're all right. >> we have united airlines confirmed that united flight 175 from boston to los angeles is down as well. no details yet. it's confirmed that flight 93, to san eve, from newark francisco is down. no details as yet. that's the one that we think went down in the pittsburgh
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area. i wish that we could be more specific. the information is, as you might expect, pretty chaic. but there ha at least four airliners that have been hijacked today. >> and tom, there's going to be an awful lot of scrutiny on the security in boston at logan airport becae it now appears that two of these flights originated there. and somehow someone managed to get on these planes and hijack them. >> well, this is -- this is an event, ron, we're happy to see you. >> thank you. you have no idea how happy i am to be here. >> it is a relief. but then you think about the experiences of thousands of other people who were down there in the epicenter of all that and were there when it occurred. our hearts go t to tthem. we don't know what the numbers are yet. >> you hear cardinal egan delivering last rites at svit. vincent's hospital. >> the gnitude will go on for some time. this is not just a national tragedy, but this is a national security event of an untold magnitude that this country is going to have to deal with. the president's coming back. and we are at war, in effect,
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here. this country has suffered a devastating attack that will cost us in loss of life. it will also cost us in terms of our psychological securi that we have in this country. we're going to have to revisit a lot of our freedoms as a result of this kind of an tack. and then, of course, there's the whole question of retaliation. >> this is an -- >> who is responsible and what do we do? >> tom, this is an upsetting wire from the west bank. palestinians celebrated tuesday's terror attacks in the united states chanting "god is great" and distributing candy to passersby even a their leader, yasser arafat, said he was horrified. the u.s. government has become increasingly unpopular in the west bank and gaza stripn the st year of israeli/palestinian fighting with palestinians accusing washington of siding with israel. >>or those of you in far-off places that think they have no effect on us, this is thanswer
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today. this place remains an enormous target in the eyes of a lot of people, and we are so vuln table because of all those things that make us so great. our freedoms and our sense of security that we have. but america has been changed today by all of this. >> we want to go and find out more about what's being done for those who were injured in these attacks. leslie van sant is with the american red cross. tell me what kind of resources you have available to you to pour into these areas where, obviously, in lower manhattan d in washington, d.c., and outside pittsburgh. >> well, our chapters in ther area, our local disaster volunteers, they are, of course, the first people on the scene and responding. unfortunately, probably now some of them are also victimized by the event we're also mobilizing 80,000 units of blood to transfer to the gions as needed. and we are taking guidance on emergency personnel on what assistance we can provide to them to make this response go smoothly. >> is there anything -- i know it's early after ts has
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happened -- but is there anything you can think of that might beof able to help you out with in terms of donating certain things? you mentioned blood and those things. >> well, we're asking people who are in other parts of the country who are blood donors or maybe not blood donors, maybe they could call and hedule an appointment so that supplies stay rdy. g volunteers are going to be responding. as tom mentioned earlier, this , is going to be a long, long response. the emotional trauma, the emotional impact is going to b felt weeks, months into the future. even years. so we're going to be working very hard at this for a long time. >> all right. leslie van santwith the american red cross. thanks very much. >> thank you. >> let's go to kathleen of new york university hospital which is about five minutes away from the world trade center where many of e victims have been brought. kathleen, i know we spoke to you about an hour or so ago. can you tell me what's going on in the hospital now? okay.
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apparently we're having some problems with kathleen, and i'm sure it's as chaotic there as it was at st. vincent's where heard from bob bazell moments ago that there was a line with cardinal egan outside delivering last rites to some of the dead who were brought to the hospital. so we'll try to touch base with kathleen in just a moment. first we want to go to andrea mitchell once again in washington. >> reporter: i've been told that the state department evacuation, katie, was precautionary only. there was car bomb, asadt least been reported or rumored. but in any case, that was precautionary only. there are still some officials there. they are now being redeployed to another location in virginia. the cia is still operational. intelligence officials are still meeting at langley. but those officials have also evacuated the nonessential employees. the current working theory, as you have been reporting and speculating, is that there is only one terror organization in this world that could coordinate
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this kind of event. an that would be something opated by osama bin laden. intelligence officials say he is in afghanistan where he has been protected by the taliban. and ase know, the united states has warned the taliban government of afghanistan that if there were any tackst against the united states, that they would hold afghanistan responsible. so that we most likely will expect retaliation. military retaliation. but i think right now the full focus of the u.s. government is on finding out how many other possible targets there might be, how many vuler in abilities there might be. to make sure that there is not some other event expected as this, obviously, was make americans vulnerable. obviously, this is the largest intelligence failure since pearl harbor. >> andrea mitchell, thank you.
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we're going to check in again right now with kathleen zicci of new york university hospital. kathleen, tell me what the scene ital.ee at your hosp >> well, we're at nyu dntown hospital in lower manhattan. and we have ha a steady stream of patients coming through the door since the first explosion occurred some hours ago. we have information at this point on three-plus fatalities, plus because there may be fatalities that i have not yet been informed of. we have hadre severe burn case, one individual an amputee a serious surgical injury, all range of injuries from both sues s, smokeal inhalation is related to smoke and debris from the collapse of the two buil >> so how many medical personnel, kathinleen, do you he working there at nyu hospital?
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>> we ha a medical staf of 500-plus physicians. and the entire medical staff
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dulles airport to los angeles and the plane that's down southeast of pittsburgh is a unit flight inbound from newark to san francisco. i heard one report it was newark via san francisco to national but i'm not sure of that. i'll tell you the flight numbers. the boston takeoffs for american airlines flight 10, it had 92
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aboard. that's one of the ones that hit the world trade center. let me just interrupt for a second. you've been reporting all morninit was american airlines flight 11. you know, i'm mistaken. it's 11. it's american flight 11. thank you very much. with 92 aboard. and then the united airlines that left from boston and hit the other world trade center center was united's 175. i don't have a figure on how many onboard it. the flight that went into the pentagon was american airlines flight 77 bound washitonan dulles to los angeles. there were 64 people aboard it and the united airlines flight that went down south of pittsburgh was united's a fligh 93 and there is no number on the number of passengers on it. but again, you have four flights known to have been hijacked, known to have crashed, and no flights at the moment that are outstanding that we know. >> bob, that crash that you just mentioned near pittsburgh, i just want to say that that is the united flight that was enroute from newark to san
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francisco, is that accurate? >> that's what i have. i've heard it totwo ways. it is newark to san francisco. i heard one report that it was -- there was an intermittent stop it was to make at washington's reagan national but that's not confirmed so it might be erroneous. >> united is now confirming that apparently, rob. we also have a report from the mayor of cleveland michael white saying a boeing 767 out of boston made an emergency landing at cleveland hopkins international airportnc becausef concerns it may have aar bomb on onboard but no confirmation of that. >> we also have just because i have a personal friend who was flying from kennedy to los angeles this morning that that plane was diverted to kansas city so apparently many planes that were enroute to certain locations have made special emergency landings in the wake of this and because of concerns that there may be more problems aboard more airplanes. >> what happens unfortunately in situations like this is the terrorists themselves don't call in and say there is a bomb onboard.
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you have the twisted minds of mbher people who call and say by the way there is a bomb onboard that flight so it is chaos in the skies for those flights alrey in the air. other flights have been grounded. this country has been immobilized in terms of where itsttenti now is focused on new york city and washington, d.c. the tragedies in pittsburgh as well. no air travel, no financial markets. all national monuments are being evacuated. the president has been rushed back to washington, d.c. the pentagon has been attacked by an airliner in effect and on capitol hill code red. the speaker of the house was taken to a very secure area because he is third in line secession to the president of the united states. we are in a state of war with terrorism. >> the army has been placed at threat condelta. that means armed personnel will be guarding u.s. installations not only here in the united states but in other parts of thl wod. you're looking at the southern tip of manhattan island here in new york city and for so many
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years we've become accustomed to seeing thee world trade center standing there in the background behind the empire state building but you see in the weforeground those two towers no longer stand after a terrorist attack this morninn g. nbc's pat dawson is close he scene of that attack. pat? >> reporter: matt, if there is a war it's a war against terrorism that started or rather is ongoing right now, it started here about quarter to 9:00 this morning. as you described, a big hole in the sky line of the southern end, southern tipf manhattan island where the two world trade center towers have stood for the last 25 years. 110 stories high. they are nolonger there. moments ago i spoke to the chief of safety for the new york city fire department who was one of the first people on thscene after the two planes were crashed into the side we assume of the world tradcenter towers which used to be behind me over
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there. the chief to me that he was here just literally ten or 15 minutes after the events that took place this morning. that is the first crash. he said at one point he had roughly ten alarms that would equate roughly to 200 225 new york city firefighters who were in the building. this was after the crash, trying toescue civilians who were in there. earlier this morning on the "today" show we spoke to the director of the world trade center. he said that at that hour of the morning you could have upwards of 10,000 people in each of those towers. that would be 20,000 people tol in each tower. the chief of safety of the fire department of new york city tol me that shortly after 9:00 he had roughly ten alarms, roughly 200 men in the building trying to effect rescues of some of those civilians who were in there and that basically he receivedss word of a possibilit of a secondary device, that is another bomb going off. he tried to get his men out as quickly as he could but he said
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that there was another explosion which took place and then an hour after the first hit here, the first crasthat took place, he said, there was another explosion that took place in one of the towers here so obviously he, according to his theory he thinks there were actually devices that were planted in the building. one of the secondary devices, he thinks, that took place after the initial impact he thinks may have been on the plane that crashed into one of the towers. the second device, he thinks, he specheulates, wa probably plantd in the building so that's what we've been told by albert tury, e chief of safety for the new york city fire department. he told me that moments ago. we are continuing to hear explosions here downtown and what we've been told by fire officials is there are gas nes that occasionally are exploding
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down there because there are a lot of open gas lines in southern manhattan where the old trade center towers used to be. we are not sure to be honest if some rescue workers have tried to go beyond that point as yet but we've spoke to the head of the port authority police. that would be the organization that is in charge of the world trade center building, itself. the port authority police chief told us that they were at that point about i'd say 40 minutes ago about to make a decision on whether or not it was safe to send emergency workers back in there. but thei bottom line is that according to the chief of safety of the new york city fire department he says he probably lost a great many men in those secondary explosions and he said that there were literally hundreds, if not thousands, of thpeople in those two towers wh the explosions took place. he said everything above the 60th floor was extremely
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difficult to get to as you can imagine. >> pat dawson, thanks very much. we have some videotape. i understand that we're going to show you from the west bank. these are palestinian celebrations in the wake of tuesday's terror attacks in the united states. how apparently palestinians took to the street chanting "god is great." people were throwing candy, distributing candy to passersby. the u.s. government obviously has become increasinglypo unpopular particularly in the west bank and gaza strip because palestinians feel that the u.s. government has sided with israel. one man wearing a long, black dress through sweets in the air saying, actually that is a woman, pardon me, saying she was happy because, quote, america is the head of the snake. america always stands by israel in its war against us. meanwhile, yasser arafat emerged to speak with reporters ahead of the pale